RWC: Wallabies send South Africa home in thriller

Australia has sent defending World Cup champions South Africa home after a thrilling 11-9 victory in Wellington on Sunday.

James O’Connor was the hero for the Wallabies as he kicked the winning penalty with eight minutes remaining to send the Australians into a Semi-final against either New Zealand or Argentina next Sunday.

The match was tipped to be a griping contest, and it lived up to the billing with the two Tri-Nations teams slugging it out but neither able to land a killer blow.

Flanker David Pocock was the official player of the match, he was in almost every ruck and won his side countless ball, even if some of his tactics should have been penalised by the match officials.

South Africa burst out of the gates from the opening whistle, backs and forwards showing great ball skills as they sliced through the shocked Australians with ease.

With all the procession and territory the South African’s should have been first on the board, but the Wallabies were able to resist the Africans and then turned the tables to score the first try against the run of play.

South Africa was able to secure a line out on their own 5m line, but lost the ball at the ruck and a few quick passes saw captain James Horwill score the only try of the game in the corner.

James O’Connor missed the conversion but made up for it six minutes later when he landed a penalty.

The Springboks were dealt a massive blow when star openside flanker Heinrich Brussow went off after 20 minutes following a hit to the ribs.

South Africa pulled the margin back to five points when Steyn slotted a penalty one minute before halftime.

Five minutes into the second half Patrick Lambie had looked to even up the scores when he ran onto a de Villers pass, but the try was ruled out because of a forward pass.

Steyn then made it a 8-6 scoreline with a penalty in the 54th minute and put them in the lead for the first time from a drop kick five minutes later.

It was then O’Connors time to shine as he put the Wallabies ahead for good with eight minutes remaining in the match.

Australia 11
Try: Horwill
Pen: O’Connor

South Africa 9
Pen: Steyn 2
Dropped goal: Steyn